North Carolina county #61

New River Inlet

My final stop on my most recent trip was the New River Inlet in Onslow County.  This is an undeveloped area of salt marsh and sand where the New River empties into the Atlantic Ocean.  You can drive right out onto the sand and go almost to the tip, although there are barriers preventing you from going anywhere that could damage the area.  There were a couple of cars there when I arrived and people were fishing from the shore.

Unfortunately, it was also raining.

I did get a 15 minute break in the clouds where it was only a light drizzle, and I took as many bird photos as I could.  Then I got back in my car and took some more with the window rolled down as I got wet.  I really liked this spot and felt there was no telling what could show up.  I took a lot of photos of flying birds that I wasn’t sure about until I got home.  I managed two new life birds here – Wilson’s Plover and a Whimbrel.


I also got a bunch of yearly firsts.  One of them, a Least Tern, I was able to watch fishing for a while.

Least Tern

At one point there were three Ospreys hovering in the wind not far from each other.  I drove around on the beach, because it is fun, and watched for maybe an hour or so.  It was going to be at least a couple more hours before it would stop raining according to my weather app, and I didn’t have it in me to wait, since I also had a four and a half hour drive home.  After reviewing the photos, I wish I had, because I think there is quite some diversity of wildlife there.  This is definitely worth a stop if you have four-wheel drive.

My updates are going to come less frequently during the summer.  I might do a couple of places a month at most until September.  Then I will have to start up again for my final rush to complete my quest of 100 counties in a year.  At 61 counties by the first half of June, I am still on schedule!

ebird checklist

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